In Securing Mobile Document Sharing, Preserve End Users’ Experience, but be Kind to IT, Too

Paula Musich

Paula Musich

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile device management is passé:  now enterprises are looking to secure mobile apps and more importantly, mobile document sharing.
  • While preserving the user experience is paramount to insure end user buy-in, it’s also important to avoid layering on still more operational complexity.

As IT shops begin to look beyond basic mobile device management functionality and address the insecurity created by mobile users’ putting sensitive corporate documents in cloud storage and document sharing services such as DropBox and Google Drive , it’s important to preserve the ease of use experience for those end users.  A raft of new, more secure mobile content management offerings are washing up on IT’s shores, and each takes a different approach to delivering the security that IT and the business require, while enabling mobile users to access, share, edit and move corporate documents around.  While some, like Box with its OneCloud, build a model based on proprietary cloud storage, others such as Airwatch with its Secure Content Locker emphasize advanced security and flexible storage, by both integrating with existing cloud storage such as Microsoft’s SkyDrive or HP’s cloud and providing its own storage option. 

Cloud storage vendors that are primarily targeting individuals rather than enterprise IT will eventually respond to the enterprise requirement for greater security and privacy, and the increasing competitive threat posed by vendors such as Good Technology, which through its acquired Good Share offering provides a more secure, enterprise alternative. Their choices will be to build internally greater security, OEM mobile security technologies, or more likely partner with those mobile content management providers who offer complementary technologies and architectures that lend themselves to integration.

While preserving a streamlined workflow for end users is a primary concern, it’s also important for IT to keep operational complexity to a minimum in order to extend their management reach easily and cost-effectively to smartphone and tablet access to enterprise apps and data. Key here is avoiding having to add yet another management console, the infrastructure required to support it and having to learn and maintain another management interface.  Integration with existing end user controls such as Active Directory and common reporting and policy management should be in place.  SAP for example with its new SAP Mobile Documents delivers integration with its existing Afaria mobile device management offering, although it is not required.  And you can expect point MCM solution providers to form partnerships with other leading and not-so-leading MDM vendors.

Do you know where your corporate documents have been?  And does your organization have policies in place governing the use of public file shares for enterprise files and data?

About Paula Musich
Paula brings 20 years of experience in the networking technology and management markets to Current Analysis clients. As Senior Analyst for Enterprise Network and Security, Paula is responsible for tracking and analyzing the evolving technological and competitive developments in the threat management segments of the information security market. Paula is responsible for coverage of the Anti-X, IPS, DLP, secure messaging, and Web security markets. In addition, she covers major technological, strategic and tactical developments in the enterprise networking market.

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